Wind-up or Stretch

I guess I’m kind of old school. Could someone please explain to me why when so many pitchers today pitch out of “The Wind-up” they end up in the same balanced “Post” position; before they make their delivery, as they do when they pitch out of the “Stretch” position. I was always taught that the wind-up is supposed to generate more momentum and ultimately more velocity.

That wasn’t the case for me. I switched from a starter in college to a closer in pro ball. About halfway through my pro career, I went from the stretch all the time (like most closers do), and I actually threw little harder more consistently.

I think the biggest reason younger pitchers (up to college ball) see a difference in speeds is because they spend 80-90% of their time in practice throwing bullpens out of the full windup. In my opinion, if pitchers threw more equally out of the stretch, they wouldn’t see such a bog difference (whether it’s perceived or actual).

Really good topic. Look forward to seeing other responses.

Way back when…
I pitched out of the full windup most of the time. The only times I would go from the stretch were with runners on first or first and second, and that was when I was relieving. However, I would pitch from the full windup when the bases were loaded. And because I worked pretty fast I saw no appreciable difference; not having a fast ball to speak of I threw a lot of snake-jazz, and the batters couldn’t catch up to it in any event. Then there was the crossfire…I used that delivery almost all the time. :slight_smile:

Zita…

Just curious, why did you throw from the windup with the bases loaded? Did you get concerned about the lead on second base or the steal on a bobbled ball by the catcher?

It would be interesting to know…per 9 innings, what % is thrown from the stretch vs windup ? And from there, avg velocity for both?

Excellent point. I posted this thought in another thread and I don’t have the stats to back it up but in a typical game my feeling is that the majority of pitches, perhaps as many as 2/3- are from the stretch. I think it’s pretty safe to say almost all game-critical pitches are from the stretch. Why not practice from this position the most?

[quote]
Excellent point. I posted this thought in another thread and I don’t have the stats to back it up but in a typical game my feeling is that the majority of pitches, perhaps as many as 2/3- are from the stretch. I think it’s pretty safe to say almost all game-critical pitches are from the stretch. Why not practice from this position the most?[/quote]

And, IF that’s the case…why throw from the full windup at all ?

[quote=“terprhp”]Excellent point. I posted this thought in another thread and I don’t have the stats to back it up but in a typical game my feeling is that the majority of pitches, perhaps as many as 2/3- are from the stretch. I think it’s pretty safe to say almost all game-critical pitches are from the stretch. Why not practice from this position the most?

And, IF that’s the case…why throw from the full windup at all ?[/quote]

I have heard that very point debated. Why spend the time to learn two different deliveries when one seems more important than the other?

Note to “gettingthere”: It had to do with the runner on THIRD base. When you’re pitching from the full windup with the bases loaded, the guy on third is not going to be so stupid as to try to steal home in that situation! :slight_smile:

Agree, Zita. I know the catching was a lot better at that level but what I’ve seen at the PONY League level is that the runners get such a lead off of third when the pitcher is in the windup that any bobble by the catcher (not even a complete passed ball / wild pitch to the screen) allows that runner to score. Same on a ground ball to the infield. Tough to get the runner at home when he has such a big lead. As to the runner on second, I’ve also seen that runner get half way to third base with his lead if the pitcher stays in the wind up which allows him to score on a routine base hit. Again, I know I’m talking about different levels of baseball but my premise is that if you can throw equally well (velocity and command) from the stretch as you can from the wind up, why use the wind up with a runner on third?

And there’s another factor that enters into the discussion. I’ve seen this a lot in the major leagues (and don’t forget that I’m speaking from that perspective)—a pitcher with a high leg kick, or who’s slow to the plate, or both. It doesn’t matter whether he pitches from the full windup or from the stretch, if he’s either or both of those two elements he’s just begging to have the base (or home plate) stolen on him. But pitching from full windup with the bases loaded might well minimize that possibility. Remember, bases are stolen on the pitcher, not the catcher. (Now, I always used a modified slide-step whether there were runners on base or not, and I worked fast.) 8)

Good point. At the PONY level, kids that have not mastered the slide step (or at least a quick delivery to home) are as equally ineffective as those that throw from the wind-up.

Well back to my point of pitching from the windup if your not gaining anything from it, ie. deception, more velocity, why do it. Any of the boys i work with, you always start with the stretch. After working from that techniquefor a month or so we go to the windup, “Old School” with no pause or balance point. There is a minimum of 3mph velocity increase(one boy has 6mph difference) from the windup, and the added decepiton of a new delivery to the plate.
Coming back to my original question; why pitch from the windup if your not gaining anything from it?

If you really want to see some REAL numbers, you can go to

www infosports.com/scorekeeper/images/cpitching.pdf

Pages 149, 151, 30, 94, 127 are just a few of the metrics I do that I break down between runners on base or not. You can look through it and usually find them by the title at the top of the 1st page of the metric.

The data comes from HSV and covers 121 games from 2007 thru 1010.

I’m sorry I can’t make the link work on this site. I’m waiting for someone to get back to me to tell me why. :wink:

There’s only way to actually answer a question like that with anything more than guesses, opinions, and/or perceptions. Someone would have to gun every single pitch, plus be very accurate about the pitch type. Along with that, everything the P did would have to be broken down by whether or not there were runners on. I’ve done much more of that than most other HS SK’s I know of, but I’ve still not even scratched the surface.

Bottom line is, baseball’s been around for about 150 years now, and if pitchers could ALL throw as well or better from the stretch, I can tell you that without a doubt, that’s what they’d all be doin’. The fact is, pitching is all timing, and some pitchers simply don’t perform as well from one position or the other. :wink:

Comfort boys, comfort.

I just felt more comfort and a sense of tempo and timing from the windup. Practiced both, used both.